Multiple pathways mediate chloroplast singlet oxygen stress signaling

David W. Tano, Marta A. Kozlowska, Robert A. Easter, Jesse D. Woodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Key message: Chloroplast singlet oxygen initiates multiple pathways to control chloroplast degradation, cell death, and nuclear gene expression. Abstract: Chloroplasts can respond to stress and changes in the environment by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). Aside from being cytotoxic, ROS also have signaling capabilities. For example, the ROS singlet oxygen (1O2) can initiate nuclear gene expression, chloroplast degradation, and cell death. To unveil the signaling mechanisms involved, researchers have used several 1O2-producing Arabidopsis thaliana mutants as genetic model systems, including plastid ferrochelatase two (fc2), fluorescent in blue light (flu), chlorina 1 (ch1), and accelerated cell death 2 (acd2). Here, we compare these 1O2-producing mutants to elucidate if they utilize one or more signaling pathways to control cell death and nuclear gene expression. Using publicly available transcriptomic data, we demonstrate fc2, flu, and ch1 share a core response to 1O2 accumulation, but maintain unique responses, potentially tailored to respond to their specific stresses. Subsequently, we used a genetic approach to determine if these mutants share 1O2 signaling pathways by testing the ability of genetic suppressors of one 1O2 producing mutant to suppress signaling in a different 1O2 producing mutant. Our genetic analyses revealed at least two different chloroplast 1O2 signaling pathways control cellular degradation: one specific to the flu mutant and one shared by fc2, ch1, and acd2 mutants, but with life-stage-specific (seedling vs. adult) features. Overall, this work reveals chloroplast stress signaling involving 1O2 is complex and may allow cells to finely tune their physiology to environmental inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-187
Number of pages21
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Abiotic stress
  • Cellular degradation
  • Chloroplast
  • Photosynthesis
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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